POLAR SPEAKER

New parents spend long hours walking their baby to sleep, the world dark and quiet around them. A podcast helps shorten those hours and stimulates the baby’s brain at a crucial time for brain development. Polar honors those peaceful moments, a Bluetooth speaker that celebrates the nightly task with a protective bear that guards the baby’s nursery, then attaches to a baby carrier to accompany meandering walks. 

This Bluetooth speaker was designed to be sold by the German home goods brand Authentics and marketed to young parents, so I began with research into the brand. I also visited my cousin with a newborn baby, and watched him lull the baby to sleep by taking her on a long walk in the dark. To entertain himself in the night, he listened to podcasts; I turned this scene into a comic to inspire my design.

Brand research: products and inspiration images

Brand research: key colors and key words

A comic illustrating the scenario I wanted to design for.

PRODUCTION

My idea was to create a speaker for parents that would allow them to listen to podcasts or music both in the baby's room, rocking or playing with him or her, and while outside the house. I created a bear-shaped speaker, soft and organic, in a durable matte plastic. The base is plugged into the wall and charges the top piece, which lifts out and clips with a 60 degree turn into a buckle to listen on the go. The buckle, in a friendly salmon color, locks onto a Baby Bjorn carrier to play audio out of the child's reach.

Form development in Fusion 360

I initially played with having a single locking piece

CAD models

CAD models

Pink foam model-making

Form development

Model

Model

Painting the 3D-printed clip piece

Carving out a hole to fit the clip

Spackling and sanding the final model

The model was painted and sanded

RENDERINGS

For use on my poster -- and theoretically in branding and production -- I created a grid- and circle-based font. I named my project Polar for its resemblance to a bear, its snowy and peaceful color, and its bottom's uncanny resemblance to a molar.

My custom font, incomplete

The grid foundation of the letters